Branding a people consultancy that seeks to shift beliefs around play

Overview

We worked with former corporate leaders, Pauline McNulty and Tzuki Stewart, to create the brand identity for their experimental people consultancy.

Playfilled unlocks human potential and builds resilience through the power of play. The visual identity is centred around a playful, flexible logo. This captures the founders’ desire to reinterpret the meaning of play in adulthood.

“We loved working with Brand Purist. Their brand sprints offering was exactly what we needed as a startup.”

“Bence kept us on track, moving quickly, but never feeling rushed. He added so much value in clarifying our message, with great attention to detail while keeping the overall vision in mind. We’re so happy with the quality of the result. Highly, highly recommended!”

Tzuki Stewart • Co-Founder of Playfilled

Brand research

The Playfilled team came prepared to our branding process. They already had the brand name and an ambitious, exciting vision for the company.

A key element of the research phase was empathising with the target audience. We came to understand that business leaders’ challenges often revolve around resilience, innovation, motivation and wellbeing.

We also dissected the brands of organisational design, business transformation and people consultancies to find ways to differentiate Playfilled.

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Brand strategy

We defined the core purpose, brand values and personality through collaborative workshops.

Our aim was to create a brand identity to go beyond fueling a business consultancy. It needed to align with the founders’ bold plan to inspire a movement around purposeful play. The Playfilled team was very engaged with our process and contributed many ideas. We helped distill their thoughts into a coherent brand strategy.

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Brand purpose

The founders’ personal experiences of working in the demanding yet unfulfilling corporate world drove them to start Playfilled. They have a deep desire to reimagine the experience of work, fix broken systems and shift beliefs around play. This is captured in their brand purpose: We heal the world by unlocking the power of play.

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Brand design

The design had to avoid visual clichés that people already associate with play. It needed to truly differentiate.

We gathered visual inspirations and generated concepts for the visual brand. Playfilled then summed up their requirements in a design brief. We had to aim for a subtle form of playfulness, which also conveyed substance.

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Logo design

We explored many logo concepts. Traditional design approaches didn’t feel right because any specific logo mark would have conveyed a singular view of play. We needed to break some rules to match the daring, experimental nature of Playfilled. The final logo design:

  • Represents resilience and evolution by being dynamic and able to change,
  • Captures the idea that play means something different for everyone,
  • Expresses playfulness without being childish,
  • Features interlocking, elongated letters to imply collaboration and journey,
  • Creates space for the word ‘filled’ within the word ‘play’, alluding to Playfilled facilitating a safe environment for self-discovery.
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A selection of Playfilled’s adaptive logo designs.
Visual identity

The flexible logo is integral to the visual identity. The word mark can take many forms and can be used for different artworks and patterns. When its shapes are stretched, they create a sense of movement. The word ‘play’ can act as a frame for content and images. The logo also lends itself to animation, which will be key as we expand the brand’s visual assets.

We picked a clear font that compliments the logo’s custom type design without distracting from it. The colour palette avoids bright, primary colours that are typically associated with children and play.

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  • Business card designs featuring Playfilled’s adaptive logo design.
  • Letterhead and compliment slip designs with Playfilled’s flexible branding.
  • Photo of tote bag with colourful pattern derived from Playfilled’s logo.

Brand implementation

We designed a range of branded items to help Playfilled launch quickly:

  • logo assets,
  • e-signatures,
  • stationery,
  • website,
  • social media profiles,
  • brand guidelines,
  • icons,
  • animations.
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  • Mock-ups of Playfilled’s branded email signatures.
  • Visual of a Playfilled’s branded Linkedin profile.

Brand messages

Crafting the key messages for Playfilled wasn’t easy. We needed to carefully articulate the value play can deliver to organisations and individuals without sounding too sciency or lofty. The language had to be inviting, insightful and a little bit cheeky to reflect the brand’s personality.

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Web design

Typography, colours, icons, illustrations, layouts and other design elements all come together cohesively on Playfilled’s website. Designing it helped us flesh out the visual identity. We also developed a simple human icon to emphasise the people-centric aspect of Playfilled’s services.

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  • Playfilled’s website home page presented on a tablet and phones.
  • Playfilled’s website designs shown on tablets.
Brand guidelines

We wrapped the first round of brand sprints up by producing a brand book. It captures the brand identity and essential rules for the visual identity. It’s a document that is meant to evolve as we build out the brand. We continue to assist Playfilled through branding as they work to fulfill their mission.

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  • Brand book describing Playfilled’s brand values and positioning.
  • Pages from Playfilled’s brand guidelines showcasing their brand personality, logo and colour palette.

Are you ready to develop your organisation’s branding? Get in touch to find out how we can help you.